Sir Richard Branson has highlighted the importance of digital skills to the future of the UK economy at a meeting with the Digital Youth Council – the panel of tech-savvy young people established by Virgin Media Business.
The entrepreneur will say that digital know-how is one of the most valuable things they will take with them on leaving school, and that pupils like them are not being consulted enough by the Government on how these skills are taught in school.
Virgin Media Business founded the panel of eight 9-17 year-olds in November 2014 as part of Generation Tech – a nationwide review of how technology is shaping education.
Sir Richard will present each of the members with a certificate recognising their contribution to the Council, as well as talking to them about how they believe technology can help them achieve their future ambitions.
The members will also meet to develop the Big Ask – an idea being discussed with Virgin Media Business to encourage Government and businesses to work collaboratively to ready students for the digitally driven business world they will enter on leaving school.
This preparation is vital for the UK to maintain its digital edge. Schools play a vital role, equipping students with the skills to succeed in jobs that don’t exist yet. That’s why Virgin Media Business has partnered with London Grid for Learning, introducing high tech classrooms in around 2,500 educational institutions across the country.
Sir Richard Branson said: “Britain is a digital leader, however our businesses will fall behind if students leave school without vital digital skills. Much is being done by the Government to address this, but we need to make sure that the views of tech-savvy pupils aren’t overlooked. The Digital Youth Council is a great example of how we can harness the skills and views of young people and create digitally savvy entrepreneurs of the future.”
Peter Kelly, Managing Director, Virgin Media Business, said: “The Digital Youth Council has done some exciting things in its first three months of existence – speaking out on key issues, developing recommendations for Government and even designing their own digital innovations. As a major player within education, we hope others in the sector will sit up and take note of its conclusions, recognising that they speak for students in classrooms around the country.”